This is being the oddest Christmas ever in my life. It feels like the spin cycle hasn't finished yet, but the rinse cycle has at last. And happily, indeed.
The washing-machine metaphor couldn’t have served me better. I’ve had to do a lot of cleaning over the last months: I’ve carefully sorted out what was worth keeping and what was dischargeable old rags, I’ve thoroughly treated stubborn stains and I’ve lovingly handled the most delicate items so that I could use them for longer. It’s been a good metaphor also because it reminds me of my mother, who taught me lots of so useful stuff for live, among other things, curiously, how to take care of my clothes. May it be because my clothes had to last for as long as possible since resources were short, may it be because such was her character.
My mother was practical, careful, loving on her own (never too cloying I mean9 equally honest with herself and with others, and clean. Sometimes I can’t help telling myself “Lucky me mum isn’t here to see this mess…” However, during her final years Ela didn’t care too much about outside tidiness. As years passed by I discovered she never cared too much for outside tidiness; for her that meant a reflection of inner tidiness. Besides, although she wasn’t sure about how to show it, every day of her life was an example of how important this lesson is, and that’s the point, isn’t it?
My mother passed away over a year ago. I’d have loved to celebrate Christmas with her. I’d have loved to show her that despite all the spinning (here my washing machine) I’m safe and sound. “I stand on my feet, they haven’t floored me”. I’d have loved to tell her that I wasn’t really aware of its real meaning when by her bed holding her hand and feeling her surprisingly tight grasp back, I said to her “you can go now mum, have a rest, I’m all right, you don’t have to suffer any more, have a rest my dear child-mother”. I’d have loved to tell her that I needed her more than ever despite not being herself… And finally I’d have loved to tell her that I don’t need her as much as then since I have eventually learnt the lesson she always meant to pass me down.
I was saying before that this is being the oddest Christmas ever in my life. At the end, the current events have led me up to the first time without Heike (thanks for all the good things we shared, I’m starting to forget that you might not have cared enough for the "golf balls"). So I’m spending Christmas with part of my family: those I didn’t often use to spend Christmas with, although over the last years, and not always on entirely happy circumstances, I've caught up with, to which I am very pleased. Although in a different manner, I still love those I have always loved and by whom I’ve always been loved. Furthermore, this year has brought me new people to love and to be loved by, so it’s going to be a very special way of stepping into new year, a way I wouldn't have been able to think of or wouldn’t have thought I deserved.
Finally and above all, I discovered yesterday that when I told my mother “suffer no more, I'm fine, you may go, I know you love me, and I love you back” I was appealing to a courage my mother knew I had, in spite of being myself unaware of it until very recently.
Thank you family and friends, and specially, thank you Arantxa: even in the hardest, most difficult moments I’m grateful to you and I can only wish you all the best. You all are being critical to contribute to the laundry with bleach, softener and the essential sizing to make clothes look like new.
Thanks for helping me finish my laundry. Hopefully in 2014 the spin will finish soon and I’ll be able to lay in the sun.